Post #1 for Lyme Awareness Month

So it’s Lyme disease awareness month, aka May. It wasn’t until this year that I thought of May as anything else besides the month after April and the month before June. However, May is much more than that. It’s the month that  Lyme disease is most talked about. It’s the month that now gives me a reason to share the horrible facts and humbling lessons of Lyme. For this post I decided it’d be best to share 5 things that Lyme disease has taught me. Whether they are good or bad lessons, you’ve got to take the bad with the good and get on with it all.

So..

  1. It’s okay to get frustrated.
    • Feelings are a thing. Feelings are real. Feelings don’t dominate you, but they do impact your life. Being frustrated is an emotion I feel quite frequently; whether it be getting mad at the socks that I am wearing for not keeping my feet warm enough, getting upset with my body for not having the energy or strength to shower, getting frustrated with my stomach because it’s so nauseous but I am just so hungry, or getting frustrated with God for letting me endure this much pain. I’ve learned that getting frustrated just gives me a better reason to be thankful for the love and grace that I receive from my parents and God himself.
  2. Netflix can get REALLY boring.
    • Believe it or not, watching Netflix for 4 days in a row and not having human interaction is what I imagine complete isolation to be. Watching Netflix is relaxing only for a period of time. Though Netflix can be boring, I can’t imagine the boredom and insanity I would be experiencing without it! (For those of you telling me to read a book.. I have tried, believe me. It’s really hard to concentrate on words and get through each sentence.. nonetheless remembering what happened in the book 3 chapters before).
  3. Brain fog is debilitating.
    • This is why I cannot read a book. Or do school work for that matter. Brain fog is terrible. I usually can’t remember driving from point A to point B.  Listening to music helps because I can stick a lyric of a song to a road marker or building and remember that I did in fact drive past there 5 minutes ago. Brain fog makes me feel confused and brainless.
  4. I LOVE yoga pants/leggings.
    • Let’s be honest, I knew that before I was diagnosed with Lyme. But, they’re so much more comfortable than jeans, they’re easier to put on, they can be dressed up or dressed down, and they’ll fit no matter what, (because I’ve lost weight since the beginning of this journey, my jeans are a little bit loose).
  5. Nobody really knows that I am sick unless I tell them.
    • Part of me likes this and part of me hates it. I like it because I don’t get treated like a sick person and nobody pities me. It’s nice cause I can go to school and nobody looks at me different if they don’t know what’s going on. I don’t like it because when I don’t show up to school for days at a time, I tend to think that people are judging me for not coming to school. People don’t know the extent to which I am sick; because I don’t physically look sick on the outside (usually.. but there are some days when my face is drained of pink and I look like Casper the ghost) and so when something is too hard on my body physically, I can see the judgment on people’s faces like “oh why isn’t she doing this?!” “that’s not fair that she gets an easy out,” or “what’s wrong with her? she looks just fine..”. And that part sucks. It also sucks because I have lost a social life. I may look okay and look like I can go out and have fun, but in all honesty, I just want to curl up in a ball and fall asleep, or watch Netflix (;. But, I know that because I don’t look terrible, I still have a chance at taking on the world just like everyone else.

lyme1

Those are 5 things that Lyme has taught me so far on my Lyme journey, and I can imagine I have a lot more to be learning and that list will only get longer. Well, it is longer than just 5 things, but those are 5 things that seem the most significant/relatable.

So this wasn’t the most entertaining post, but it took a lot out of me today to type it all. So, I am proud of myself and I will rejoice my God and love him forever and ever for the heartbeat that He gave me, for the love that He sends me and for the guidance that He shows me.

I tell so many people to just take a breath, look around and notice all that is surrounding you. And now, it’s time for me to take my own advice and just meditate on those words. I encourage everyone to take a deep breath, to hold it and exhale slowly. Let it burn your lungs and hurt your stomach. That means that you’ve kept it all in for far too long. Be strong in your standing, but light with your movement. Let faith carry you and let love lead you, for God is beneath you, within you and above you 24/7/365.

XOXO,

Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”

 

Header image: http://bit.ly/23nrM7p 

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